RETIRE RON STRAND: The RGS “Authority” and The City of Ridgecrest’s Police and IT Department HACK the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater “Authority”

June 19, 2022

Indian Wells Valley California (McCarthy R-CA District 20, Grove R-CA Senate District 16, Fong R-CA, Assembly)


ADDED 6/19/2022: The City of Ridgecrest City Manager should remove himself from all aspects of administration or management of the IWVGA and be reprimanded for making public comment as a public official at the June 9, 2022 IWVGA meeting. The City Council has a representative on the Board of the Groundwater Authority for that purpose, and Mr. Strand was not authorized to comment on the Policy Advisory Committee Recommendation that was approved at the cost of $60,000 to be paid to RGS for Community Engagement. Mr. Strand is not “staff” of the IWVGA, if he is, he should say so.

Department of Water Resources SGMA Implementation

Paul Gosselin, Deputy Director, Statewide Groundwater Management

Basin 6-054 — Indian Wells Groundwater Authority GSP Corrective Action 1

Mike Sinnott

There’s a lotta “Jack” at stake.

Before you read any further, what would you do with 3,500 acres of pistachios and alfalfa if you tore out all the trees and left the alfalfa fields to dry? How would you control the dust and environmental damage that would occur if the agriculture in Inyokern was put out of business overnight?

What would you do?

First, you’d sell your “water rights”. You’re not going to need the water anymore. Second, you’d probably go someplace else to farm, or you’d be the owner of a new solar farm or maybe something else, an office building in Bakersfield or Phoenix.

Next, if you want to stay in the game in the Indian Wells Valley, you’d build a 3,500 acre solar farm with berms around the whole thing, and you’d reseed the desert with creosote and other such vegetation that would keep the dust at bay. Your solar farm wouldn’t require pumping all the water from the ground, and everyone would be happy driving Teslas.

Now let’s get to the point of this article: The Indian Wells Groundwater Authority and “RGS” or “Staff” as they are called.

Regional Government Services Authority (RGS) is a California Joint Powers Authority (JPA). Under California law, a JPA can be formed by two or more governmental agencies, with the agencies becoming governing members of the JPA.  The members of RGS are the Cities of Dublin, Larkspur, Soledad and Walnut Creek and the Town of Yountville. Each agency’s chief executive officer has a seat on the Board of Directors for RGS. Officers of the Board of Directors are elected once per year from the Board Membership. The Board of Directors appoints individuals to assist the Board in overseeing the operation of the JPA, including an Executive Committee and a Finance Committee.

RGS Website “The Swamp’s Hideout”

scheming adjective

  1. Given to forming schemes; artful; intriguing.
  2. Tending to scheme.
  3. used of persons

The Century Dictionary. More at Wordnik

Regional Government Services Authority (RGS), “The Home of California’s Deep Swamp”

City Managers and other bureaucrats from all over California have succeeded in hijacking the management of Groundwater Authorities by inserting a bureaucrat’s wet dream called the Regional Government Services Authority (RGS) into the administration of the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority in California’s Mojave Desert.

Located in the Eastern Sierra region of Kern County, the Indian Wells Valley is perhaps one of the more brutal environments in the desert southwest, it’s essentially a part of Death Valley geographically speaking, and it’s a very dry desert, with a few inches of rainfall in a normal year. It’s a good place for a startup operation of this type in the new groundwater sustainability arena with the passage of SGMA, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Like everything else, nothing is normal forever, and like growth, all good things must come to an end. Now comes forced austerity in both energy and water, and your expense is the RGS Authority’s profit

RGS is a “public agency” serving the consulting, administrative and project management needs of local governments, Isn’t that a sweet deal? It’s like a for-profit company of bureaucrats schemeing how to perpetuate their existence and grow their power over you, and you’re going to pay for all of it.

For more on Regional Government Services Authority see their website here: Why do they call themselves an “Authority”? It sounds authoritative and official, but they are not our “Authority”, and they aren’t experts in anything except swampism.

Take a look at their website and Board of Directors, then check out their upcoming events. You’ll see they’re an organization of government employees from all over the State of California and from cities we’ve never heard of. They look very successful and their training is very expensive. But do they do dinners at nice hotels and conferences somewhere in Hawaii? Probably. Is it at the taxpayer’s expense?

Helpful Hint: Everything they do is at the taxpayer’s expense. Their mere non-essential existence is a great burden on society, especially in the “Public Health” arena.

Anonymous Roadrunner

Who are these people and where do they come from? We’ll look at RGS a little more from a local control standpoint, something SGMA is supposed to engender, but first, a word about Ridgecrest’s City Manager, Mr. Ron Strand.

Pictured Below, Mr. Ron Strand, CEO of Ridgecrest Inc. makes official City of Ridgecrest comments during Public Comments on Social Media Engagement at the June 8, 2022 IWVGA meeting. Ron has a PhD in Bureaucracy, Democracy and Community Policing, and he’s an expert on Facebook surveillance. Yes, it’s true!

Ron Strand, City Manager makes Official comments during Public Comments on Social Media Engagement and PAC recommendations at the June 8,2022 IWVGA meeting. Mr. Strand supports the use of Facebook for community engagement.

California’s Version of the “Swamp” is now embedded in The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority, and the City of Ridgecrest is sitting in the driver’s seat, along with its City Manager and former police chief, Mr. Ron Strand. The City is an active participant in GA meetings as well as the “administration” of the GA, while RGS is the back-office part-time work-from-home manager acting as the intermediary in the middle of it all.

RGS and the City intend to control how you comply with SGMA and the State’s new laws governing groundwater pumpers, as well as the construction of costly infrastructure needed to import water to the Indian Wells Valley. All of their efforts are in pursuit of more growth, not sustainability. In order to secure new growth, the City wants you to pay what could be a project that will cost a half billion dollars by the time it’s completed and all the smoke clears, that’s if it ever gets built.

The “Authorities” will tell where you’re going to get it from, when and how you’re permitted to use it, and how you’re going to pay for all of it while you’re paying them by the hour, just like an attorney.

These budding entrepreneur-bureaucrats are sneaky as hell, and they don’t give a damn about “local control” unless they control it. The IWVGA’s Policy Action Committee or PAC, is a joke. Most of the “volunteers” i.e. “UNPAID STAFF” on the PAC have given up and gone home. Why? It’s run by bureaucrats for bureaucrats like RGS and Mr. Strand.

Why does the TAC, or Techical Advisory Committee, only have 2 active members? Technical advice isn’t cheap, and the TAC is ignored and “people are angry”, to quote the recent comments by Mr. Don Decker, the lead TAC member, a long time valley resident and an expert in geohydrology. Mr. Decker is unpaid and underappreciated “staff” in our view, and his opinions and technical reports don’t seem to matter to the “Authority”, whoever it is.

Community engagement didn’t matter 5 years ago, but now that the IWVGA has it’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan approved, it’s full speed ahead on AVEK, a costly pipeline project that will bring water to our “Indian Wells Death Valley” from somewhere near Sacramento. Isn’t that great? Five. Hundred. Million. Dollars? We’ll betcha it’ll be more than that, taking the over on the over-under cesspool. (no pun intended)

California’s water problems have become your water problems.

How Did Regional Government Services become the face of the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority?

RGS Hosts Workshops for government employees that are increasingly working from home.

RGS is a virtual organization with many years of experience in remote work policies, making it the ideal organization to partner in this important conversation.

RGS is a virtual organization? Does that sound like engagement to you?

RGS Openly Discriminates Against Conservatives via

Position Description

Regional Government Services (RGS) is seeking a progressive, skilled Full-time Senior Advisor to fulfill our commitment and provide services to Richardson Bay Regional Agency as the Executive Director.

Job Number 2022-RGS-05

RGS also posts government job opportunities, openly using code words to imply the nature of the political ideology for those openings, for example Regional Government Services (RGS) is currently “seeking a progressive, skilled Full-time Senior Advisor as of June 19, 2022 with a salary range of $135,200 to $187,200. Conservatives need not apply, Communists, closer to progressive, please apply, RGS will likely train you, as a member, in the proper ideology in one of their expensive online seminars.

The “manager” hired by the IWVGA through RGS just two years ago is Carol Thomas-O’Keefe. She lives in Santa Barbara, we think. RGS doesn’t have an address with an office and staff ready to greet you when they “engage” with the public. They are a cloud version of government. They don’t exist except in name, and they only serve themselves and “members” of the swampy and obscure club called RGS.

Sarcasm comes easy in California’s swampy, progressive wastelands called cities.

RGS pays their employees based on part-time or full time, and their payscale shows that Clerical or Administrative Assistants are paid $15 per hour to $40 per hour (pdf). We assume that Carol Thomas-O’Keefe is in the Administrative Assistant’s category having exited the “Internship” category sometime in the last 2 years. SGMA is all new to RGS, and RGS is new to managing Groundwater Agencies.

The RGS Authority is learning as they go along. Do you think they’ve learned that it’s impossible to manage a local Groundwater Authority using part-time clerical or administrative staff working from their homes? That’s why the “community engagement” plan outlined by the PAC committee of the IWVGA is such a joke. They can’t do it.

The RGS website is hosted by WordPress. That should tell you something, i.e. they don’t know what they’re doing or they’d mimic (also on WordPress) and post their publications everywhere while “pushing” them out via broadcast email, and they don’t need $60,000 to do it. They could have done this two years ago. See the RGS payscale for more information.

RGS is effectively a head-hunter’s version of a job placement agency, wherein the head-hunters arrange the job then find someone to fill it. They’ll train you for the job and provide support to their members. They also charge their members thousands of dollars to participate in 3 hour online training sessions in order to teach their members how to improve their swampy skills and obtain “certifications” in the many swampy skillsets required by government swamp creatures.

IWVGA/City Attorney Keith Lemieux and Carol Thomas-O’Keefe, aka “staff”, confer about something during the June 8, 2022 GA meeting.

We received a reply from RGS prior to publishing this post:

With regard to your opinion regarding staff, the GA board made a policy decision to use contract staff rather than direct-hire employees.  This alternative, common for small organizations, allows the GA to receive the benefit of highly-qualified individuals for a variety of staff functions without the costs associated with maintaining full-time employees. 

Carol Thomas-O’Keefe – RGS, July 9, 2022

We haven’t asked whether or not RGS’s Carol Thomas-O’Keefe is acting as an Independent Contractor or whether she is actually a virtual employee of RGS the virtual company. She is classifying herself as part-time “contract staff” at the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority so we’ll assume she’s an employee of RGS and she’s real.

In any case, RGS is not suited for the job of managing the IWV Groundwater Authority and the City of Ridgecrest isn’t suited to have anything to do with the administration or “community engagement” with the public. Quite the opposite.

This doesn’t bode well for the IWV Groundwater Authority. So Who’s in charge of supervision of the IWVGA?

surveillance sər-vā′ləns noun

  1. Close observation of a person or group, especially one under suspicion.
  2. The act of observing or the condition of being observed.
  3. Oversight; superintendence; supervision; watch; spying.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition. More at Wordnik

Corrective Action 1: Community Engagement

What is Community Engagement? First, the “Groundwater Authority” can’t sit in a chair in front of you or greet you at the counter of their offices. That would be “engagement”. And, they can’t sit in the Ridgecrest City Council chambers at 11 a.m. on a weekday to engage you. You can try to go to a meeting or call-in live and make comments to the public, but virtually no one watches the meetings live. How else can they engage? Especially if nobody wants to go there. See below and you’ll understand why.

We finally had some time to go check out the RGS “Authority” Facebook page:

If you aren’t already aware of all of this, we’ll explain why RGS and the City of Ridgecrest are so hell-bent on setting up a Facebook account for the IWVGA’s new PR strategy, which just stole another $60,000 of your money for “engagement”.

RGS “Authority” Facebook Page, 104 Followers. RGS “Virtual Office Building” in Background.

RGS “Authority” Facebook Page, 104 Followers. Virtual Office Building in Background.

We don’t care if it works, Facebook also works for selling shit from your garage. How’s it working for RGS?

And if you didn’t know this already, the Ridgecrest Police Department and Mr. Ron Strand love engaging you on Facebook. It’s called police surveillance. The short-staffed Ridgecrest Police Department “engaged” citizens over 16,000 times on Facebook in 2021 alone. That’s a helluva lot of engagement don’t you think?

Ridgecrest has a Public Safety Issue. Are Ridgecrest Police underpaid? Probably. Is that the only reason RPD is understaffed? NO.

The Ridgecrest Police Department has 14-15 vacant positions for police officers and only 21 are filled, while 4 officers live in Inyo County and commute to Ridgecrest. Only 17 Ridgecrest Police officers live in the Ridgecrest area and the number that actually live in the City is undisclosed at this time. The City has 3 full time IT Staff under the Police Department’s budget.

City of Ridgecrest Budget Meeting FY 2023

We’ll have much more to tell you about the City of Ridgecrest’s police surveillance engagements in an upcoming Post on

The Bottom Line on IWVGA’s Community Engagement Plan? It’s part of the RPD’s surveillance program. That’ll get some engagement, but not the kind we want.

California’s Deep Swamp and The City of Ridgecrest have hijacked the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority.


ADDED 6/19/2022: The City of Ridgecrest City Manager should remove himself from all aspects of administration or management of the IWVGA and be reprimanded for making public comment as a public official at the June 9, 2022 IWVGA meeting. The City Council has a representative on the Board of the Groundwater Authority for that purpose, and Mr. Strand was not authorized to comment on the Policy Advisory Committee Recommendation that was approved at the cost of $60,000 to be paid to RGS for Community Engagement. Mr. Strand is not “staff” of the IWVGA, if he is, he should say so.

Mike Sinnott

Ridgecrest Police Department’s Brand New “Authority Cruiser” is used for “Community Engagement” in addition to Facebook (New Cruiser 1 of 16)

Brand Spanking New 2022 Police “Authority” Cruiser, fully loaded and ready for some “Community Engagement”

Bonus Video: Public Comment by Publisher at the June 15, 2022 Sparsely Attended City Council Meeting

Comment from a Humorous Observant Council Observer on Facebook:

I was at the meeting and I must say there was a reaction from the target and I bet they needed eye drops from so much blinking. I think he could hardly believe someone had the audacity to confront him.

Anonymous Observant and Humorous Facebook Person
More humor

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Thanks but No Thanks to Facebook

RGS needs Facebook to SPIN, and Facebook is a criminally run corporation owned by a data-gathering-election-interfering-group-censoring-fucker named Mark Zuckerburg. NO thank you RGS and Mr. Strand. You can go engage with the kids, but leave us out of the cesspool. We won’t go there to engage with the IWVGA in any case. You probably already knew that Mr. Strand and you can keep your wastewater.

Anonymous Roadrunner

Did We Say Wastewater??

Check this out! Shhh! (Secret City) “Kevin McCarthy’s Hat Trick”

Then There’s This

And Who Can Forget This?

And This

This Takes the Cake

Maybe it’s time for a little humor? (See above Video)

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Don’t forget your Free Subscription. We Promise not to tell anyone.

sparsely adverb

  1. In a scattered or sparse manner.
  2. In a scattered or sparse manner; scantily; widely apartthinly.
  3. in a sparse manner

The Century Dictionary. More at Wordnik

Welcome to The Indian Wells Valley: The Roadrunner Capital of the world!

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